Why Marriage Equality Matters

by Zoe Pollock

Mark Ketterson is allowed to bury his husband, a Marine, in a standard military funeral:

“They were always polite, but there was this moment of hesitation,” Ketterson recalled. “They said they’re going to need something in writing from a blood relative. They asked, ‘Are you listed on the death certificate?’ ‘Do you have a marriage license?’ ”

He was and they did, the couple having been married in Des Moines when gay marriage became legal in Iowa two years ago.

Ketterson sent a copy of the marriage license. That changed everything. “I was respected,” he said. “From that moment on, I was next of kin. They were amazing.”